Village of Ridgefield Park, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Village of Ridgefield Park 9-8-1981 by Ord. No. 12-81 (Ch. 159 of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Unfit buildings — See Ch. 142.
Certificates of compliance — See Ch. 153.
Housing standards — See Ch. 225.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 287.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AVAILABLE FOR RENT TO TENANTS
Fit for habitation, as defined by the statutes, codes and ordinances in full force and effect in the State of New Jersey, County of Bergen and Village of Ridgefield Park, and occupied or unoccupied and offered for rent, and includes, where applicable, month-to-month tenancies, year-to-year tenancies or years-to-years tenancies.
BASE RENT
Rent lawfully in effect one year prior to the date of application.[1]
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92]
CALENDAR YEAR
A period commencing at 12:01 a.m. on January 1 of a particular year and ending 12:00 midnight December 31 of the same year.
[Amended 3-26-1985 by Ord. No. 6-85]
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT
Shall not include furnishings, but means a permanent improvement that is reasonably expected to last more than one year. The improvement must benefit the dwelling and must be subject to an allowance for depreciation under federal income tax provisions and exceed the sum of $5,000.
CONSUMER PRICE INDEX
The consumer price index, including all items, for the region of the United States in which Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, is a part, published periodically by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor.
DWELLING
Any building or structure, including garages and off-street parking spaces normally used by individuals leasing premises, rented or offered for rent to one or more tenants or family units. Exempt from this chapter are public housing or housing space in any motel, hotel or other dwelling primarily serving transient guests or any dwelling or building or structure or portion thereof rented for commercial use and dwellings containing two or less housing spaces or apartment units. Newly constructed dwellings or housing spaces which are rented for the first time and dwellings which are substantially reconstructed or rehabilitated, if the cost of reconstruction or rehabilitation exceeds 50% of either the undepreciated cost, which shall include all improvements and additions subsequent to the date of purchase, or the fair market value of the dwelling prior to reconstruction or rehabilitation, whichever is greater, are exempt, and the initial rent may be determined by the landlord. All subsequent rentals shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.
FISCAL YEAR
Any twelve-month period commencing at 12:01 a.m. on the first day of any month and continuing 12 full months to the last day of the 12th month at 12:00 midnight.
HOUSING SPACE
That portion of a dwelling rented or offered for rent for living and dwelling purposes to one individual or family unit, together with all privileges, services, including garages and off-street parking spaces, furnishings, furniture, equipment, facilities and improvements connected with the use or occupancy of such portion of the property. The term "dwelling unit" shall mean the same as the term "housing space" where used in this chapter. "Housing space" shall also include condominiums and cooperative apartments, and the terms of this chapter shall apply to any condominium or cooperative apartment which is not occupied by its owner but is included in a structure containing three or more housing units.
[Amended 11-10-1981 by Ord. No. 16-81]
VACANCY DECONTROL
Means that any dwelling unit which shall become vacant shall be decontrolled from the requirements of this chapter, allowing the landlord to subsequently rent that dwelling unit for any rental price that he wishes. Upon subsequent rental, however, the dwelling unit will again be subject to the requirements of this chapter. In all cases where a vacant apartment is subsequently rented, the landlord shall forward, in duplicate, on a proper form prescribed by the Rent Stabilization Board, the amount of the rent charged the new tenant, the duplicate copy of which shall be given by the Rent Stabilization Board to the Tax Assessor.
[1]
Editor's Note: The definition of "base year," as amended, which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 8-11-2009 by Ord. No. 09-09.
A. 
Establishment of rents between a landlord and tenant in housing space and dwellings to which this chapter is applicable shall hereafter be determined by the provisions of this chapter. At the expiration of a lease or at the termination of a lease of a periodic tenant, no landlord may request or receive a percentage increase in rent which is greater than the percentage increase in the consumer price index for the past calendar year prior to the termination of the lease. All dwelling units, whether or not subject to control under prior rent stabilization ordinances, shall be controlled effective October 1, 1981. For a periodic tenant whose lease shall be less than one year, said tenant shall not suffer or be caused to pay any rent increase in any fiscal year which exceeds the percentage increase in the consumer price index for the past calendar year prior to the termination of the existing lease. Where a tenant, however, provides his own heat, no landlord may request or receive a percentage increase in rent which is greater than 3/4 of the percentage increase in the consumer price index for the past calendar year prior to the termination of the lease. (The full percentage increase or 3/4 of the percentage increase in the consumer price index for the past calendar year shall be the same as the full percentage difference or 3/4 of the percentage difference in the consumer price index for the prior calendar year.) Nothing contained herein shall prohibit a written lease for longer than a one-year period, which lease may provide for the annual increment permitted by this chapter.
B. 
No more than one rent increase shall be permitted within any twelve-month period. Should a landlord elect not to raise his rent after a twelve-month period from his last raise, he may do so in any month for the balance of the next 12 months. The purpose of this subsection is to permit the landlord to elect not to raise his rent for 11 months or less and still maintain his legal base rent position. If a landlord is to preserve his right to the maximum rent allowed for any calendar year or fiscal year, he must raise the rent to that maximum during that year, and in so doing, the landlord would be entitled to future increases in the same calendar month in each subsequent year.
C. 
Any proceeding to review any rental increase must be commenced within one year of the next effective date thereof by the tenant. For purposes of the computation of what the allowed rent should be for this chapter, the Rent Stabilization Board shall only be required to take into consideration the lease for the rental unit or the rent charged to the prior tenant who occupied the dwelling unit.
D. 
Vacancies.
(1) 
Any dwelling unit which shall become vacant, as defined in § 297-1 in the definition of "vacancy decontrol," shall not be subject to this chapter for purposes of rent stabilization on the initial rent for subsequent rental. Upon subsequent rental, it will again be subject to the requirements of this chapter.
(2) 
The landlord must file with the Rent Stabilization Board a vacancy decontrol form. Any violation of this section may prohibit any landlord from making use of the provisions of vacancy decontrol for the dwelling involved for a period of 12 months. At the end of the 12 months, the permitted rent may be set at the previously agreed decontrolled rent with no consumer price index increase for the intervening year.
[Added 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92]
A. 
Any rental increase at a time other than at the expiration of a lease or termination of a periodic lease shall be void. Any rental increase in excess of that authorized by the provisions of this chapter shall be void.
B. 
All rents for the rental of housing space and services in dwellings controlled under prior rent stabilization ordinances to which this chapter is applicable are hereby controlled at the base rent level. Rents for the rental of housing space and services in dwelling units, whether or not controlled under prior rent stabilization ordinances, but subject to control under this chapter, are hereby controlled at the base rent level. No rental increases shall hereafter be demanded, paid or accepted except as provided in this chapter.
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92]
C. 
Any rent increase imposed after the first day of the month following the effective date of this chapter to the extent that such increase is in excess of that which is permitted by this chapter is hereby declared to be null and void, and such excess rent shall be refunded or credited to the tenant by the landlord forthwith. The Rent Stabilization Board, however, shall have the power to allow a refund or credit to be applied to an existing rental over a period not to exceed six months.
D. 
Existing leases and options to renew as of October 1, 1981, shall not be affected by this chapter, but no new leases shall be executed or performed except as provided in this chapter.
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92]
Any landlord seeking a cost-of-living increase shall notify the tenant, by means required by applicable statutes or ordinances or rules of the Rent Stabilization Board, of the calculations involved in computing the increase in accordance with the allowable percentage increase as permitted by this chapter, which notice of the increase that he is seeking shall be given, in the case of a tenant who has a lease for a period of one year or more, at least 60 days before the expiration of the lease and, for a tenant who has a tenancy for less than a period of one year, at least 45 days before the expiration of the tenancy, which increase, in any event, shall not be greater than that allowed by this chapter. A copy of the notifications of all rent increases to the tenants shall be sent to and be made part of the records of the Rent Stabilization Board. Any violation of this section may prohibit any rental increases for up to 12 months for the dwelling involved.
[Added 12-22-1992 by Ord. No. 17-1992[1]]
A. 
A landlord may seek a tax surcharge from a tenant because of an increase in municipal property taxes. The tax surcharge shall not exceed the amount authorized by the following provisions. The landlord shall divide the increased present property tax over the property tax of the base year by the number of rentable square feet occupied by the tenant in the dwelling to obtain the tax increase per square foot. "Base year" is defined as being the year immediately preceding the year for which the tax surcharge is sought. The tenant shall not be liable for a tax surcharge exceeding the tax increase per square foot multiplied by the number of square feet occupied by the tenant.
[Amended 8-11-2009 by Ord. No. 09-09]
B. 
Notice of tax surcharge. Any landlord seeking a surcharge shall notify the tenant by certified mail, return receipt requested, or personal service, obtaining the tenant's signature, with a copy of notice to the Rent Stabilization Board. The notice shall set forth the calculations involved in computing the tax surcharge and shall include the current property tax for the dwelling, the property tax for the dwelling for the base year, the number of square feet in the dwelling, the tax increase per square foot, the number of square feet occupied by the tenant and the maximum allowable surcharge given to a tenant one month previous to inception of such charge. All notifications of a tax surcharge shall be given to a tenant by August 1 of each year or upon such other date as the Rent Stabilization Board may fix. In the event that the tax bills for the municipality are not forwarded to all taxpayers by July 15 of the particular tax year, then the landlord shall give notice of the surcharge to the tenant within 30 days after he receives the tax bill.
[Amended 10-12-1993 by Ord. No. 16-93]
C. 
Payment of tax surcharge. The tax surcharge each tenant is liable for shall be paid in eight monthly payments commencing September 1 of each year. In the event that the tax bills are not forwarded by July 15 of a particular year, then the first payment of the surcharge shall become due and payable within 60 days after the tax bill is received by the landlord. The remaining seven payments shall be due and payable on the first of each month thereafter. The Rent Stabilization Board shall have the authority, however, to fix the date when monthly payments shall be made if the tax bills are received after July 15 of a particular year.
[Amended 10-12-1993 by Ord. No. 16-93]
D. 
Tax surcharge not to be considered as part of the cost-of-living rent increase. The tax surcharge shall not be considered rent for purposes of computing cost-of-living rental increases.
E. 
Rebate of tax surcharge in the event of successful tax appeal. In the event a tax appeal is taken by the landlord and the landlord is successful in said appeal and the taxes are reduced, the tenant shall receive full benefit of said reduction up to the amount of tax surcharge paid by the tenant, after deducting all expenses incurred by landlord in prosecuting said appeal.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 159-5, Tax surcharge, was repealed 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92.
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92]
A. 
In the event that a landlord cannot meet his maintenance expenses or other operating expenses, including taxes, and make a fair return on his investment as determined by the Board, he may apply to the Rent Stabilization Board for increased rental. The Board may grant the landlord a hardship rental increase to meet these payments. Such increases in rent should be made a part of the base rent and should not be considered, in the technical sense, to be a surcharge.
B. 
Prior to any such application to the Board, a landlord shall serve upon each tenant, by certified mail, return receipt requested, mailed at least 21 days prior to the hearing, a notice of said application, setting forth the basis of said application. In addition to notifying each tenant by mail of the increase because of hardship under this section, the landlord shall post in the lobby of each building or, if no lobby is present, in a conspicuous place in or about the premises a copy of the application for said increase under this section, which notice shall be posted at least 10 days prior to the proposed date of the hearing on the application.
C. 
A landlord may seek additional rental for major capital improvements for the cost of improvement where a building permit, if required, was obtained prior to the commencement of work on such improvement. The minimum limits for such improvements are as follows: for three to four units, $1,000; for five to six units, $1,500; for seven to 10 units, $2,000; and for more than 10 units, $5,000. The landlord must notify each tenant, by certified mail, return receipt requested, mailed at least 21 days prior to the hearing, of the total cost of the completed capital improvement, the number of years of useful life of the improvement as claimed by the landlord for the purposes of depreciation for income tax purposes, the total number of rentable square feet occupied by the tenants of the dwelling or garden apartment complex and the cost of improvement per improvement surcharge he is seeking from each tenant. The landlord seeking a capital improvement surcharge shall apply for said surcharge within one year of completion of the improvement to the Rent Stabilization Board, which shall determine if said improvement is a major improvement and, if so, shall permit such increase to take place. No rent surcharge increase shall be made for capital improvements without prior approval from the Rent Stabilization Board.
D. 
Application for rental surcharge under this section shall be filed, together with a copy of the building permit, an affidavit of service of notice of application upon each tenant and a sample copy of such notice attached thereto, and certified mail receipts.
E. 
If any increase for a capital improvement surcharge is granted under this section, it shall not be considered rental and shall not be included in calculating cost-of-living rental increases under § 1297-2 nor be added to the base rent or cost of living.
A. 
In order to administer the terms of this chapter, there is hereby created and continued within the Village of Ridgefield Park a Rent Stabilization Board. The Rent Stabilization Board shall consist of five members and four alternate members, who shall not hold any elective office or position within the Village of Ridgefield Park. All members shall be appointed for a term of one year, including the alternates. An appointment to fill a vacancy in office shall be for the unexpired term of the office. All members presently appointed to the Board shall continue to hold office, and their terms shall expire on December 31 or when their successors are appointed.
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92]
B. 
The members of the Rent Stabilization Board shall be appointed as follows: two representing tenants and one alternate representing tenants; two representing landlords and one alternate representing landlords; and one homeowner resident of the Village of Ridgefield Park and two alternative homeowner residents of the Village of Ridgefield Park.
[Amended 9-23-1986 by Ord. No. 12-86; 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92]
C. 
A quorum for purposes of conducting a meeting shall consist of at least one landlord member, one tenant member and one homeowner resident member. Whenever there is such a quorum, all adjudications, decisions and procedural and administrative matters shall require a majority vote of the three representatives present.
D. 
Whenever there is more than one tenant member present and/or more than one landlord member present, where a quorum only requires the presence of three members of the Board, the Chairman of the Board shall designate the landlord member and/or tenant member who shall be entitled to a vote for the purposes of taking up the various items of business that may be considered by a quorum of three members of the Board, as set forth in Subsection C above.
E. 
Where the items of business at a meeting shall be considered by five members rather than three members, then at least two tenant members, two landlord members and one homeowner resident member shall be present, and a plurality of those voting shall be sufficient to make a decision.
F. 
In the event that any tenant member, landlord member or homeowner resident member refuses to vote on an item of business or abstains from voting, then another member or the alternate member representing such particular group shall have the right to cast a vote.
G. 
Items of business for voting purposes shall include but not be limited to any adjudications on any appeals which may be heard by the Board, decisions of the Board on any matter presented to the Board, procedural and administrative matters, any appeals heard by the Board or decisions taken by the Board, including any appeals that the Board shall hear from any aggrieved party or parties seeking a ruling under this chapter.
H. 
When a quorum of three members shall be voting on an item of business, each member of the quorum shall be entitled to one vote. When a quorum of five members is required to vote, each member of the Board shall be entitled to one vote. All alternate members of the Board shall be entitled to vote and act in the place of the particular member of the group he represents.
I. 
The members of the Board shall be nominated by the Mayor, with the consent of a majority of the Board of Commissioners. In the event the Commissioners fail to confirm a nomination of the Mayor by a majority within 30 days from the date said nomination is made, then, after the expiration of the 30 days, the Commissioners shall fill the vacancy with another nominee by a majority vote. The members shall serve without compensation. They shall, however, be entitled to reimbursement for any expenses that may be incurred or sustained in the performance of their duties, which expenses shall be paid upon a voucher properly presented to the Village Clerk and approved by the Commissioner of Revenue and Finance.
J. 
The present Board shall continue in office with its present officers and members as appointed or elected. At its next reorganization meeting it may, if it so desires, elect a new Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary. The Board shall be entitled to the services of a clerk, who shall prepare minutes of the meetings, handle applications filed under this chapter and notify applicants of the decisions and handle other routine clerical duties that are reasonably necessary with the administration and duties of this particular Board.
K. 
The Rent Stabilization Board is hereby granted and shall have and exercise, in addition to other powers herein granted, all the powers necessary and appropriate to carry out and implement the purpose of this chapter, including but not limited to the following:
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92]
(1) 
To issue and promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to implement the purposes of this chapter, which rules and regulations shall have the force of law until revised, repealed or amended from time to time by the Board in the exercise of its discretion, provided that such rules are filed with the Village Clerk.
(2) 
To supply information and assistance to landlords and tenants to help them comply with the provisions of this chapter.
(3) 
To hire an accountant, an auditor or other individual with expertise in the field of reviewing the books and records of the landlord, the fee for which services shall not exceed $1,000, and which may be charged against the landlord where it is the opinion of a plurality of the voting members that such a service is required because the landlord has failed to furnish the Rent Stabilization Board with the proper and accurate information.
(4) 
Where a rent increase is made in violation of the provisions of this chapter by a landlord and brought to the attention of the Rent Stabilization Board by a tenant, the Rent Stabilization Board shall have the power, in its discretion, to penalize the landlord by having the monthly rents reduced by double or triple the amount of such increase of a normal month's rent for each month of said violation. The Rent Stabilization Board shall have the right, in its discretion, to decide over what period of time such reduction in rental shall be applied.
(5) 
To subpoena the books and records of a landlord by the proper issuance of process through a Municipal Court, and to issue such other subpoenas as may be necessary.
(6) 
Hearings.
(a) 
To hold hearings and adjudicate applications from landlords for additional rental, as hereinafter provided.
(b) 
To hold hearings and adjudicate applications from tenants for reduced rental, as hereinafter provided.
(c) 
Said Board shall give both landlord and tenant reasonable opportunity to be heard before making any determination.
L. 
The following fees are established, payable to the Treasurer of Ridgefield Park, by the party or parties seeking relief on rulings:
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord No. 1-92]
(1) 
Request (written) for ruling without hearing: $10.
(2) 
Request (written) for ruling with oral hearing before the Board: $15.
(3) 
In the event that a tenant requests an oral hearing after the initial request for a ruling without hearing, there shall be an additional charge of $15.
(4) 
Tenants who are senior citizens (meaning persons over 62 years of age) shall be charged $3.
(5) 
Hardship increase.
(a) 
Application for increase under the hardship surcharge, per dwelling unit: $15.
(b) 
In the event that a multiple dwelling has in excess of 10 units, the fee for additional units over 10 shall be, per unit, $10.
(c) 
If the ruling is negative, the Rent Stabilization Board may charge for reasonable cost of investigation.
(6) 
Application for an increase under the capital improvement surcharge by a landlord shall be $100 up to the first $10,000, 1/2 of 1% additional for expenditures in excess of $10,000.
M. 
The action of the Board shall be deemed to be final. Appeals therefrom shall be to the courts of New Jersey.
A. 
Each landlord shall maintain books and records relating to the operation of a dwelling, which shall contain a list of names of the tenants, the rent that each tenant pays, the terms of his lease, the expenses in connection with the operation of the building and the cost of all capital improvements. Each landlord shall furnish to the Board a list of names of tenants whose dwelling units were controlled under prior rent stabilization ordinances and a list of names of tenants newly subject to control under this chapter. All of these records shall be made available to the Board in making a determination or ruling under this chapter. The landlord shall, in addition thereto, furnish to the Board any other reasonable and pertinent data the Board may deem necessary to arrive at a fair and reasonable decision under this chapter. The tenant or tenants affected by a decision of the Board shall have a right to inspect the records of the landlord at the landlord's place of business at least 10 days prior to a hearing. In the event that a landlord refuses to comply with a request for inspection by the Board or a tenant, the Board shall make a determination as to when and where a tenant or tenants shall have the right to inspect the books and records of the landlord and any other reasonable conditions which may be necessary for the inspection of the books and records of the landlord.
B. 
Each landlord shall maintain books and records listing all apartments as of October 1, 1981, and the base rent being charged.
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92]
C. 
Each landlord shall maintain books and records listing the rents being charged all other tenants occupying decontrolled apartments.
D. 
Each landlord shall maintain books and records listing all apartments in each building, whether they are subject to control or decontrol, and all rents and other charges being made.
A. 
During the term of this chapter, the landlord shall maintain the same standards of service, maintenance, furniture, furnishings and equipment in the housing space and dwelling as he provided or was required to do by law or lease at the date the lease was entered into.
B. 
In addition thereto, each landlord shall maintain the premises in accordance with all of the ordinances of the Village of Ridgefield Park, statutes of the State of New Jersey and other applicable law. In the event the landlord does not maintain the premises in accordance with the aforesaid provisions of this section, the Rent Stabilization Board may take this factor into consideration in granting or refusing to grant a rent increase to a landlord.
A. 
Each and every tenant shall be entitled to receive a written lease for a minimum period of one year, provided that on October 1, 1981, or any date subsequent thereto, there was in force and in effect a lease for a period of one year or more between the tenant and landlord. In the event no lease existed prior to October 1, 1981, a lease need not be offered to the tenant.
B. 
A tenant and landlord may also enter into a lease for more than one year, provided the rental over that period does not exceed the rental permitted under this chapter.
C. 
Every lease shall clearly set forth the rent in effect on the date the lease is entered into and the date and amounts of any increase thereto.
A. 
Upon this chapter's becoming effective, a copy of this chapter shall be circulated to each landlord, who shall register each apartment with the Board, on forms prepared by the Board, within 30 days of the effective date of this chapter, and shall forward to the Rent Stabilization Board within 60 days a complete list of all his tenants and the monthly income received from each tenant, his apartment number and the amount charged monthly to each one of the tenants as of October 1, 1981.
B. 
Every landlord of three or more dwelling units which are subject to this chapter shall post in the lobby of each building or, if there is no lobby, in another appropriate and conspicuous place in and about the premises, the following notice, at least 12 inches by 12 inches:
THERE IS A RENT STABILIZATION ORDINANCE IN THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEFIELD PARK.
FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
234 MAIN STREET
RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. 07660
(201) 641-9125
C. 
Any violation of this section will prohibit any landlord from making use of the provisions relating to vacancy decontrol for his dwelling.
All records which must be provided in connection with the administration and enforcement of this chapter shall be maintained at the Municipal Building in an appropriate place provided by the Village Clerk. The Village Clerk and the Secretary of the Board shall have access to these records at all times. It shall not be the duty, however, of the Village Clerk to review these records with a landlord or tenant during his regular business hours. A review of these records shall be provided by the bylaws that create the Rent Stabilization Board.
A. 
In the event that any housing space, dwelling unit or any part of a structure or building shall become vacant or in the event that there is a change of tenant or occupant thereof, the housing space, dwelling unit or any part of the structure or building which becomes vacant shall not be reoccupied by a new or subsequent tenant or occupant unless a certificate of occupancy has been issued specifically for said tenant or occupant within 15 days following the start of the new occupancy. Any such vacancy or change of occupancy or tenancy shall render null and void any certificate of occupancy that has been previously issued for said building, dwelling unit or part thereof, unless a certificate of occupancy was issued for the same within 12 months in accordance with this section. The word "vacant" shall mean, for the purposes of this section, that the tenant has left the premises. Once the tenant has given notice that he is terminating his tenancy, the tenant shall not, after being given such notice, unreasonably deny a landlord access to the housing space, dwelling or building for the purpose of inspection thereof by an appropriate official of the Village of Ridgefield Park in order to comply with this section.
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92]
B. 
The responsibility for obtaining a certificate of occupancy shall be that of a landlord or his duly authorized agent, and the landlord or his agent shall file a written request on a form to be provided by the Rent Stabilization Board and approved by the municipality.
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92]
C. 
The certificate of occupancy shall only be issued by the appropriate official designated by the Board of Commissioners after an inspection has revealed that the housing space or dwelling unit has substantially complied with the provisions of the New Jersey State Housing Code, the Regulations of the Construction and Maintenance of Hotels and Multiple Dwellings promulgated by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and such statutes and ordinances of the Village of Ridgefield Park as may be applicable.
[Amended 11-10-1981 by Ord. No. 16-81]
D. 
The fee for the issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall be determined by the number of inspections included within a landlord's request. The following fees shall be charged:
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92]
Type
Inspection
Reinspection
Each housing space
$15
$10
E. 
The official in charge of issuing such certificates of occupancy shall issue either a permanent certificate of occupancy after being given access by the landlord or his representative or a written denial setting forth the reason therefor.
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92]
F. 
Any decision denying a certificate of occupancy may be appealed to the Director in charge of the Construction Official. In the event the Director in charge of the Construction Official is not available to hear the case, then the appeal shall be heard by the Director in charge of the Rent Stabilization Board. If the Director in charge of the Rent Stabilization Board is not available to hear the matter, then the appeal shall be heard by the Chairman of the Rent Stabilization Board. In any event, a hearing on an appeal shall be heard within seven business days after submission of the appeal, and thereafter a decision shall be rendered by the appropriate hearing official within three business days following the hearing. The failure of the hearing official to hold a hearing within the seven business days from the submission of an appeal and/or to render a decision within three business days from the date of the hearing shall constitute an approval of the certificate of occupancy.
[Amended 11-10-1981 by Ord. No. 16-81]
G. 
A copy of all such certificates shall be forthwith filed with the Housing Inspector, the Rent Stabilization Board, the Construction Official and the landlord involved.
[Amended 11-10-1981 by Ord. No. 16-81]
H. 
In the event housing space or a dwelling unit has been inspected within the prior 12 months, the landlord need not apply for another certificate of occupancy. The failure of the municipality to make an appropriate inspection, by itself or through its officials, shall not in any way shift liability to the municipality, nor shall the municipality, its employees, agents or servants be liable for any negligence in making an inspection thereof, by way of voluntary actions or omissions to act.
I. 
In the event that a landlord rerents an apartment without a certificate of occupancy or fails to apply for a certificate of occupancy, the landlord may be subject to a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment of not more than 90 days, or both. In addition, the Rent Stabilization Board may refuse to allow the landlord the use of the provisions of vacancy decontrol for the dwelling involved for a period of 12 months. At the end of the 12 months, the permitted rent may be set at the previously agreed decontrolled rent, with no consumer price index increase for the intervening year.
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92]
A. 
The landlord of housing space to which a certificate of occupancy is issued after the adoption of this chapter or which is being rented for the first time after the adoption of this chapter shall not be restricted in the initial rent charges. Any subsequent rental increases, however, shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
The conversion of an existing multiple dwelling into one containing more or fewer dwelling units shall not be considered to represent new construction. In such case, the determination of base rental must be approved by the Board upon application by the owner or landlord, and said approval shall be based on the increased value of the building.
Where there is an increase in rent for a hardship or capital improvement, the rounding process shall be used for any of the foregoing. Any amount up to and including $0.50 on the dollar shall be rounded off to the next lowest dollar. Any amount exceeding but not including $0.50 on the dollar shall be rounded off to the next highest dollar.
There may be no waiver or avoidance of the provisions of this chapter by private agreement, directly or indirectly. An owner or landlord and a tenant may agree, in writing, to waive those provisions of § 297-10 where a tenant is entitled to a lease for a period of one year.
[Amended 1-28-1992 by Ord. No. 1-92[1]]
A violation of any provisions of this chapter, including but not limited to the willful filing with the Rent Stabilization Board of any material misstatement of fact, may be punishable, upon conviction, as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, General Penalty. A violation affecting more than one leasehold shall be considered a separate violation as to each leasehold.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
This chapter, being necessary for the welfare of the Village and its inhabitants, shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof.
The Rent Stabilization Board shall have within its power the right and ability to enforce this chapter immediately upon passage and publication or as of the first day of the month following the passage and publication of this chapter.